The statehouse political architect and ideologue, David Mafabi demonstrates this typical trait of intolerance by slumming the door on Odrek Odrek Rwabwogo’s thirst for a meaningful debate on ideological resurgence.
By Morris DC Komakech
The attempt at reinventing the NRM ideology that is raging within the NRM need not get extinguished in haste by the state operators.
The statehouse political architect and ideologue, David Mafabi demonstrates this typical trait of intolerance by slumming the door on Odrek Odrek Rwabwogo's thirst for a meaningful debate on ideological resurgence.
Such intolerance is what keeps the heads of most dictators (aka Strongmen of Africa) hidden in the sand.
Rwabwogo has been the lone proponent in calling for debate on NRM's future. Now he seems to alone debating and soon he will be distanced from. Already, Rwabwogo is accused of generating ideological confusion, confusing biology with ideology and undermining the works of the NRM Party Chairman.
The fire of discontent is burning silently underneath the NRM and Rwabwogo maybe the first black smoke sprout out of the Conclave.
The young Turks, bred in the ideological perplexity of the NRM have come of age. Their demand for change of direction is appears legitimate for them to find space and place to exert their own influence.
Yet, the old Turks within the system still hold tight on the grip of power, privileges and influence. It is their carcass; they must chomp at it until infinitum.
In a sense, we are seeing the emergence of the progressive forces from within the NRM led on the one hand by Rwabwogo, and yet, his lone voice does not seem to represent a corpus of progression.
One would expect that virulently ambitious young Turks like Morrison Rwakakamba, Frank Tumwebaze, Agaba Rugaba and others of that generational breed would join forces with Rwabwogo. Instead, they have sold their loyalty to the traditional forces.
They are even hostile to the smallest suggestion of an ideological debate within the NRM. Rwabwogo may be the lone voice for now - maybe his timing is wrong, but at least, he is not driven by impulses of a disgruntled man. Rwabwogo has also been in the NRM's inner circles longer than many of the young people that litter the State House corridors and alleyway today to oppose him. Rwabwogo could have taken a path that will either destroy him, or win him support from the inner NRM politburo retrospectively.
After all, the survival of any system is judged from its dynamism - adaptability to changing times. Moreover, the NRM has remained on course for reasons other than ideology. For instance, its very existence is buttressed within the institution of the army, built around a personality cult of an African "strongman".
The test of its survival outside of these composites remains a bigger question that only Rwabwogo makes sense in his advocacy for ideological re-orientation.
Messiahs have always appeared confusing, disturbing and condescending to an establishment, for which they have endured execution for reward.
Set that aside, if I were Rwabwogo, I could consult with Asuman Bisiika. Bisiika correctly pointed to an important aspect of this debate in an article in one local daily of August 15, 2015, (See: Odrek Rwabwogo and NRM ideological re-orientation), which could help guide Rwabwogo enormously.
Bisiika affirms that the NRM is least inclined on matters of ideology at this phase in which it finds itself. It considers ideological matters a sole enterprise of the Party Chairman.
Further, the contradictions seen between the NRM ideology and economic progress in Uganda, suggests that the NRM no longer has controls over its ideology, as such, its ideology is not driving social and economic transformation of Uganda.
In this sense the frontiers of contestation is what Bisiika correctly points out - the lack of a policy generation. The archaic ideas of ideology and revolution are intangible to the majority of the young people - the carpetbaggers of the NRM.
The NRM ideology itself is more confusing and, therefore, it is even hard to accuse Rwabwogo of spewing ideological confusion when those accusing him are also ideologically confused.
The writer is a Ugandan based in Toronto, Canada